Congratulations. Welcome to the Ravens. What was Draft weekend like for you as you're waiting to hear your name called, and then ultimately, it's the Ravens on the other line when you pick up the phone? (Garrett Downing) "It was really a blessing. As a young kid, your life-long dream is really to play in the NFL. So, just having God take its course and for me being able to come out on this day and turn my dream into a reality, it was definitely a blessing in itself."
You seem extremely versatile, especially running routes in an open field. How do you really see your game translating into this Ravens offense that obviously loves to throw to the tight end? (Cordell Woodland) "Just keeping the main thing the main thing. Getting off the phone with Coach [Harbaugh], he just understood that my versatility was really unmatched. I come to a unique offense like the Ravens where you have a great quarterback in Lamar Jackson and really just a bunch of pieces, and then you have a Pro Bowler in Mark Andrews. Just being able to learn under him and be able to just do what I do on the football field is what I bring to the Ravens."
What do you know about this Ravens offense and how offensive coordinator Greg Roman likes to use tight ends like yourself? (Jonas Shaffer) "I know it's really unique. I know the Ravens really play with more than one tight end, so I know that playing time is obviously in balance for the first year. I know that Lamar Jackson does a lot of great things with the ball in his hands, whether it's RPOs [run-pass option], whether it's drop back, or whether it's just a pocket collapsing and he's just looking down the field. Lamar Jackson is a playmaker in himself. So, him just trying to always find eyes down the field and trying to look for either the tight end or long shot just makes [for] a great possibility to do things early in my career."
When you're following the Draft, seeing and thinking about where you might go, when the Ravens picked another tight end a couple picks earlier, did you feel like that ruled them out? Or knowing how much they like to use tight ends, did you figure there still was a chance for it? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Every pick that came up, I thought that there was a chance, because just being who I am and knowing what I bring to an offense. It really didn't matter if a team drafted one tight end, three tight ends or five. I know that what I do on the field in unmatched. So, being able to bring my talents to the Ravens is a blessing."
Just going back to the other tight end, TE Charlie Kolar, who the Ravens drafted, is he somebody that you've met or know at all, during training or anything like that? What are your thoughts of the Ravens doubling up at that position and you guys coming in and being able to grow and learn together? (Garrett Downing) "I met … I saw a little bit and met a little bit with him at the Senior Bowl and a little bit at the Combine. He's a really intellectual player and person. I heard on the Draft [broadcast] that he had a 3.99 GPA. So, just him and seeing the way he was studying the playbook at the Senior Bowl, just showed me that he takes his job really seriously, just like me. It just showed me that not only did the Ravens get a great tight end in myself, but they got two, including him. So, [it] just shows that down the road, making him a one-two punch with Mark Andrews is just something that you can't prepare for as a defense."
How did you get to Costal Carolina? Did you feel like during the Draft process, you kind of had more to prove than maybe guys at bigger schools? Obviously, you were impressive, but I just wanted to get your thoughts on that, and congratulations. (Cliff Brown) "Thank you. I got to Costal [Carolina] really from just being under-recruited and overlooked. Having Costal take that shot on me and believed in me from the start and then ended up offering me just showed me that no matter what happened my first three years, I wasn't going to transfer. I wasn't going to do anything, and I just stuck it out. Just showing that not only what I do at Costal Carolina isn't [just] on tape, I did it at the Senior Bowl. So, just showing that I can also do it with the best of the best in Mobile [Alabama] really just amped me up to another level and filled my confidence. It just showed me that I could do it in the NFL at this point."